Wednesday, November 30, 2011

On the Correlation of Condyles (or lack there of)

Classes officially ended for the semester yesterday.

Fragmentary Human Remains: Isolated Mandiular Condyle
For one of my final projects I measured multiple dimensions of the mandible in hopes of finding something in the underlying boney structure and correspondence of the TMJ that might help me understand the disproportionately high number of females suffering from TMJ disorder in comparison to their male contemporaries.  Arguably my measurements only roughly captured the shape of the condyle and the sample I looked at was quite small with an N of 21 males and 10 females, but my limited results didn't show any consistent differentiation in the condyle based on sex.

Unpatterned variation in the dimensions of the human mandibular condyle surprised me a little.   Not only does there not appear to be differentiation between the dimensions of the condyle between males and females, the distribution is all over the place and there is almost no correlation between the lengths and widths of the condyles.  Condyles can by short and wide, short and narrow, long and wide or long and narrow.  This is not what I was expecting.

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